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The Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens side has been named ahead of the 2013/14 season opener of the HSBC Sevens World Series on the Gold Coast this weekend.
Qantas Men’s Sevens coach Michael O’Connor says he is confident his 12-man selection has the right balance to succeed over the weekend.
“The side is the most experienced team I have taken into the opening tournament of the year.
“Our two debutants Alex Gibbon and Tom Lucas are both coming off impressive performances in Suva, Fiji last weekend at the 2013 Oceania Sevens Championship. I am confident they can step up and play at IRB level.”
The inclusion of local star and Series speedster Shannon Walker is certainly a draw card for fans over the weekend.
“Shannon is a fast mover and an exciting player to watch with his deft footwork” O’Connor said.
Qantas Men’s Sevens captain Ed Jenkins is leading the side for a consecutive third year, and said the side was looking forward to the tournament on home soil.
“It’s great to have the support of the crowd. It always provides such a good atmosphere to play in.
“The draw will provide some tough matches, especially with Samoa coming off a win last week in Fiji at the Oceania Sevens.
“We have a well-balanced squad, with some fresh faces, and we have been working hard in the off-season to make sure we can come out in fighting form,” said Jenkins.
The Gold Coast Sevens is the first of nine tournaments in the Series, and sees 16 international teams play 45 matches across two days.
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Qantas Men’s Sevens:
Ed Jenkins ©
Laloifi Junior Laloifi
Over 500 young men and women had the opportunity to show off their skills and athleticism yesterday, as the Australian Rugby Union’s Search for a Star took place across the country looking to identify players who may have the potential to represent their country in Rugby Sevens.